WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A strange little man named Prot claims to be a visitor from another universe, while a New York psychiatrist tries to unlock the mysteries of his interstellar dementia. But Prot might just be telling the truth…
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Some movies are entertaining only because of sheer star power. If two lesser actors had been cast here, K-PAX could easily have been a wreck. Kevin Spacey is as compelling as always in his portrayal of Prot, and so convincing is the actor’s work that you easily believe his claims. Equally impressive is the fantastic Jeff Bridges as Dr. Powell, and the numerous scenes between the two actors are nothing short of fantastic. But the movie as a whole is a rather meandering and schizophrenic affair. There are several fascinating moments (Prot’s first appearance and a sequence involving a family barbecue), but the film seems to lurch from scene to scene.
The early therapy scenes between Powell and Prot are very entertaining, but by the time the movie winds down, they’ve devolved into some blatant “Oscar-minded” dramatics. Plus, the movie’s finale is quite simply a big disappointment. Fans of Spacey and Bridges will undoubtedly have a good time with K-PAX. The movie offers a handful of cool ideas about interstellar visitors and the issue of “who decides what insanity is” are broached early on, but the movie runs on too long – and it seems as if most involved ran out of ideas halfway through.
Although it wasn’t a big theatrical hit, Universal Home Video is offering K-PAX with a healthy dose of Special Features. Director Iain Softley is featured in a screen-specific audio commentary, which (as is often the case in solo commentaries) has more than a few slow spots and pauses, but fans of the movie will be interested in the director’s comments. This is not really a dull track, just a bit dry. The next feature is a better-than-average EPK entitled Spotlight on Location: The Making of K-Pax (11:45), which houses your basic interviews, clips and peeks behind the scenes.
A somewhat unique feature is The Making of K-PAX: Photographs by Jeff Bridges, which is precisely what the title suggests: a series of candid photos taken by Bridges himself. Pretty cool addition here. There’s also a storyboard comparison that highlights the film’s opening scene, a collection of the always-welcome deleted scenes and an alternate ending. Those who look for such things will note that the deleted scenes can be viewed in a ‘play all’ method, which I love. There’s also a handful of the more traditional features, like the theatrical trailer, some lengthy production notes, the ever-present cast & crew bios, and a small collection of trailers of some more recent Universal releases.
As a showcase for Spacey and Bridges, K-PAX is certainly a worthwhile movie, but the flick itself leaves too many questions unanswered and often moves at a snail’s pace.